Surgery wait times on the decline

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ACCORDING to the latest ACT Surgery Report Card, there has been a 19 per cent drop in the number of patients waiting for elective surgery compared to the same time last year.

The report card, for the the third quarter of 2011-12, provides details of access to elective surgery in the ACT. The report card shows 8315 people accessed elective surgery at ACT Public Hospitals – a three per cent increase  and a 28 per cent increase compared with the same period eight years ago.

“These results are the lowest on record since 2003 and, with more than 11,000 elective surgery procedures planned for this financial year, we should see further improvements in these figures by the end of 2011?12,” Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher said.

“During the first nine months of 2011?12, ACT Public Hospitals have seen a total reduction of those waiting for elective surgery of 19 percent and, importantly, a 43 percent reduction in the number of patients waiting longer than recommended time frames.”

Results also show the number of patients waiting longer than one year for surgery has reduced by 61 per cent while the number of patients waiting longer than two years saw an 83 per cent reduction.

“The 11,336 elective surgery operations recorded for the 2010?11 financial year was the highest result on record, easily eclipsing the 2008?09 record of 10,107 operations over the same period, which is an outstanding performance by our hardworking healthcare team here in the ACT,” Ms Gallagher said.

Ms Gallagher said the support provided by the Commonwealth to increase access to elective surgery, together with more than $90 million already added to the health system for extra elective surgery by the ACT Government, is providing more access to elective surgery and reducing overall waiting times for care.

“This additional activity is making a big impact on the numbers of people waiting for care, and these results show what can be achieved when governments work together,” the Chief Minister concluded

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